The long-in-the-works autobiography that Morrissey talked about having more or less finished in early 2011 – entitled, naturally, Autobiography – was due for publication in the UK this week through Penguin, with bookshops across the country whipping their Truman Capote sections back into shape for the Mozmoir’s 16 September arrival. As
obsessive Morrissey fans (edited for redundancy) no doubt noticed, however, Monday came and went with nary a swoon nor a shoplift.
That’s because the book’s publication date was pre-empted by a terse statement on True to You – the Morrissey fan site that has become a vessel for official communiqués – reading simply: ‘Although Morrissey’s Autobiography was set to be available throughout the UK on September 16th, a last-minute content disagreement between Penguin Books and Morrissey has caused the venture to collapse. No review copies were printed, and Morrissey is now in search of a new publisher.’ This, of course, despite Morrissey already knowing he’s unloveable, they didn’t have to tell him, message received loud and clear. Anyway, it was accompanied by this amazing image, which is probably just a mock-up, but a boy can dream.
So that, as they say, seemed like that, with Morrissey apparently having as much luck with publishers as he’s had of late with record labels. The following day, however, a similarly brief clarification also appeared on True to You, saying: ‘The publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography remains with Penguin Books. This is a deal for the UK and Europe, but Morrissey has no contract with a publisher for the U.S. or any other territory. As of 13 September, Morrissey and Penguin (UK) remain determined to publish within the next few weeks.’
So first of all, YAAAAAASSSSS, obviously. Secondly, it remains unclear whether the initial statement was a simple case of someone along the way having the wrong end of the stick, or if Morrissey threw a strop in public and it actually worked. Either way, if you can bear to loosen your grasp on your prized copy of The World Won’t Listen for as long as it takes you to read 600+ pages, it’s time to stretch out and wait.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.